I worked my ass off for that man

There’s also a way around it: “How your life improves when you finally loosen up” is the title of the book by Alexandra Reinwarth (2016), to whom I owe this essay. Because the title, which gave me the idea for this essay, shows in a wonderful way how you can play with a well-known expression like something goes past someone’s ass.


I immediately thought of other formulations with the word “ass” and it was common to all that these formulations should not be understood literally but idiomatically. I asked myself the question in which way the word “ass” can be understood beyond its physical meaning.


Since the word ass is a coarse word the relevance of the present study is that this type of word seems to be generally underrepresented in linguistic research, although it is most likely used very often. The word “ass” appears in numerous creative formulations. They are creative because the formulations are not to be understood literally, but idiomatically.


In Bad language, it is also discussed that in the English languages, swear words are often used from the field of faeces, which is an indication that the word ass is frequently used in English Hans-Martin Gau- ger even speaks of a English special way of using swear words from the fecal area. Click here to learn more. According to the author’s findings, the English language is the only language in which swear words from the excremental area are preferred to those from the sexual area.


This also influences the way in which the word “ass” is used in English, since it has a more sexual (and thus even positive) character in other languages than in English. A closer examination of how the word “ass” is used in English thus seems relevant.


Accordingly, the primary question is: What meanings result from the phrasemes2 with idiomatic use of the word “Arsch”? Is it possible to identify patterns in the semantics of these phrases?


To answer the questions above, a corpus linguistic analysis is chosen. This is based on the reference and newspaper corpora in the Digital Dictionary of the English Language. For definitions, in order to be able to determine the found entries more precisely, I mainly use the Duden Volume 11 Redewen- dungen and Donalies Basiswissen Deutsche Phraseologie.


In the following I will indicate in, which research has already been done in this field and which connections exist between different theo- rtical positions. The theoretical concepts on which this work is based will also be defined there. This is followed by a methodological part which describes the working method in a catchy way. In the analysis begins, which, after a short presentation of the analysis method, examines and categorizes the found and selected phrases. The 5th chapter explains the conclusions.